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Economy
Age Of Carpetbaggers By Prabir Purkayastha

The Finance Ministry’s decision to treat any Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) who has a Branch office in as a Mauritius Company under the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty with Mauritius will lead to tax loss of about Rs.3,000 crore to the national exchequer. It is surprising that the Finance Ministry should have come out with such a circular, when the Income Tax Department had rejected the claims of the FIIs and proceeded against them. This, it may be noted was at a time when the Finance Minister was refusing to roll back price increase of even PDS food grains to the people below poverty line.

Before we look at the implications of this decision, let us examine some of the fact ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:07
 
Crony Capitalism At Its Worst; FM Must Quit

The current crisis of the financial system is not one of merely a depressed stock market and a scam in UTI. It is now becoming clear the crisis goes well beyond -- into other financial institutions such as IFCI and IDBI -- and is symptomatic of a much bigger malaise.

The Unit Trust of India (UTI) scam leading to the collapse of its flagship scheme US-64 is a gigantic fraud unprecedented in independent India, and warrants the Union Finance Minister’s immediate resignation. Alongside, an enquiry must be conducted into the manner in which unscrupulous politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen manipulated the system. This is necessary not only to bring the guilty to book but also to cl ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:06
 
India Infrastructure Report: Old Wine in Old Bottle By Prabir Purkayastha

In the never-never land Indian capitalism, all that is required to generate wealth for the people is to promote the market and invite in private and foreign capital. In infrastructure, private ownership will be more efficient and provide cheaper services than the state sector -- or so we are told by the so-called "experts". Why this did not happen in India in the initial years of after independence and why should power from Enron and Cogentrix cost twice as much as the power generated by the much-derided state sector is never explained. The report of the Expert Group on Commercialisation of Infrastructure Projects -- titled The India Infrastructure Report -- set up by the Union F ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:01
 
India External Debt: More than Meets the Eye By Prabir Purkayastha

It has been claimed by the Government of India (GOI) that India’s  debt burden is not significant. In a report to the World Bank (India’s External Debt – A  Status Report, GOI, June, 1999), it has been stated that there has been  a considerable improvement in external indebtedness. However, the Status Report does not show certain commitments that the Government has made, for example, in the power sector (the guaranteeing of Enron revenue stream) which are akin to external debt. It is also clear from the composition of debt that private debt is becoming significant in the post liberalisation  era. If we look at the Latin American debt scenario of the 80’s  or the recent South East Asian cr ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 06:58
 
Animating Cartoons and Automating Consumers By Prabir Purkayastha

With advances in electronics art, entertainment and information delivery are being restructured creating a new information order. As technological development transforms the various elements of television, films and distant learning introducing the new domain of cyberspace, this is accompanied by the mergers and acquisitions. A Disney acquisition of ABC-Capital City for $ 19.4 billion, has been followed by Westinghouse’s acquisition of CBS for $ 5.4 billion and now Time Warner's buy out of Turner CNN’s TV empire for $ 8 billion. The world of entertainment and information is the new sphere of global contention with US companies leading the pack.

There is disquiet on the ability of ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 06:54
 
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